The OVA Steering Committee is the principal body to lead The OVA consisting of over 20 multidisciplinary stakeholders. The goal of the coalition is to implement and support innovative citywide interventions that specifically address contributors to maternal mortality identified by the MMRC.
Aasta D. Mehta, MD, MPP is the Medical Officer of Women’s Health for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and OB/GYN clinical faculty at Pennsylvania Hospital. Dr. Mehta completed her OB/GYN Residency and Public Policy/Women’s Health Advocacy Fellowship at Drexel University College of Medicine. With the support of Drexel University, Dr. Mehta completed her master’s degree in Public Policy. Her public health work is focused on surveillance and programmatic implementation to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, particularly racial disparities. Dr. Mehta directs the Philadelphia Maternal Mortality Review and Fetal Infant Mortality Review programs, leads the Philadelphia Labor and Delivery Leadership Group, serves as President-Elect of The Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia, and is Mayor-appointed to the Philadelphia Women’s Commission for which she is currently Vice Chair. Outside of Philadelphia, she represents PDPH and Penn Medicine at the state level as a member of the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee, the Child Death Review Committee, the Policy Chair of the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, and Secretary of Pennsylvania section of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).Email
Nia Coaxum, MPH, CHES is the Maternal Health Coordinator of Community Projects for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Family Health Division. She received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Public Health, with a concentration in Community Health from West Chester University. Previously she worked in the prevention field, with a primary focus on youth substance use prevention. Nia is also a Certified Health Education Specialist, Birth and Postpartum Doula, and is in the process of becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor. She is committed to improving birth experiences and decreasing maternal health disparities through education and advocacy throughout all stages of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.Email
Imani is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia and a mom of two children, Curt (12 years) and Asani (3 years). After graduating from Central High school (259th class) she earned a certificate as a coding specialist and worked as a data specialist, customer care specialist, and administrative health assistant. She is now working as a stay-at-home mom and a Community Specialist for Strategy Arts on the OVA project.
After having a traumatic birth experience with her second child where she experienced racism, Imani began to educate herself on the racial disparities in maternal and infant health that Black and Brown women in Philadelphia face. She brings a commitment to being part of a change that will keep Black and Brown women from pregnancy-related deaths to her work in OVA. Imani is an animal lover—she calls herself a “fur baby Mama”. She also enjoys cooking, reading, and writing poetry.